So......I have been struggling with something. I work for the Government of Canada. We have a policy that says that we are not to book meetings or do business with places that are inaccessible. Yet the department I work in consistently books some meetings (mostly for social reasons such as retirement or going away parties) at a nearby venue...an air force mess hall...that is completely inaccessible. Stairs to get in, and more stairs once you get in. I can't tell you the number of times over the years in which I have declined invitations to one event or another at this location, and explained why I cannot attend. Recently, I learned that a colleague had booked a work-related meeting at this venue. I thought, "I have to do, or say, something". I know that these incidents are never intentional. And the people booking the meetings probably never stop to think about what they are doing, and the attitudes they are reinforcing. They probably think, if they stop to think, well no-one coming to the meeting is disabled, so it's not really an issue. And I wonder how they would react if the same venue had a sign outside that said, "blacks not welcome", or "women not allowed", or "no Jews". Because a venue that is not accessible is saying that people like me are not welcome, that we are not valued, that we are not part of the community.
So I am going to raise this issue at our next management meeting. And I hope that my colleagues will agree that if someone discriminates against one of us, they discriminate against all of us. And maybe, if this venue loses a regular clientele, they will do something about their lack of access.